Saturday, October 29, 2011

Stray Dog

I thought a stray dog wandered into our backyard when I quickly glanced outside, looking for Irene. I did a double take and realized Irene had decided to celebrate Halloween early, and dress up like another dog. She did so by dunking her head into a puddle of mud which had gathered in our backyard.

Needless to say, she thought it was fun until she had to come right inside and get a bath!
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The "I" puppies

On Saturday we had our regional guide dog meeting. For I think the first time ever I got to see more than one of my puppies siblings -- of the 9 puppies in the litter, 4 were at the meeting. Irene is certainly the biggest of all of them (lucky me). Inga is certainly the smallest. It was encouraging to hear they are all kind of a handful, they all don't like their headcollars and they are all really smart!

From left to right, we have Irene, Inga, Irvine, Izzy.

This is classic Irene -- winking. I did hear it might run in the other puppies in her litter too...

They are all a little rowdy -- I think it must be the genes. We tried to get them to pose sitting close together, but this is all we got... they must have missed their sisters! This is the 3 sisters in the photo below.

Three sisters actually being still enough for a picture...

Cute little Inga!

Irene and Izzy are far apart away they can remain calm.
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What fun is Halloween if you can't dress up your dogs? :) We got some costumes from Goodwill and our puppies just love them ;)

Irene and Petunia look happy, right? Of course they are, they're pumpkins!

I think the pumpkin fits Petunia a little better :)

OK mom, enough!
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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sacred Marriage - Chapter 2

What?  You may ask, what is Sacred Marriage, and what the heck happened to Chapter 1?  Well, let me tell you...

I decided to join an online Bible study where we would all ready Sacred Marriage together, and then chat about it, blog about it, etc.  However, I'm late to the game, so I'm starting with Chapter 2.  And I might add, I'm late posting this, but better late than never I suppose!  Overall, I really like this idea of an online Bible study -- it keeps me accountable but there is a little less pressure of meeting deadlines when I'm busy with work, etc.

So, onto the meat of my post, chapter 2!    Chapter two was all about how being married has lots of analogies about our relationship with God.  This chapter references 2 Corinthians 5:17:  "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" In fact, every day that I wake up, I know that I am less than perfect and am probably going to mess up in some way, shape, or form.  But becasue of God's mercy, the old is forgotton and my spirit is new, forgiven each day, each hour, each minute.  God has forgiven me, and he calls me to show that same mercy and forgiveness to my husband.   It sounds so easy, right? 

My favorite part of the chapter was a great analogy about our marriages and forests.  Forests can grow for hundreds of years -- but if they are not continually watered with the rain, one lightning strike can destroy the forest.  However, if the forest is watered continuously, lightning may still strike the forest, but it will not have as devastating an effect.  Our marriages are like forests in that they also need water ("an unwavering commitment to please God") to survive against lightning strikes (communication problems, unrealized expectations, etc).  The author writes, "If I'm married only for happiness, and my happiness wanes for whatever reason, one little spark will burn the entire forest of my relationship."

That analogy really struck with me, because so much I often think of marriage as 'how can my husband make me happy today'.  It's an unfortunate selfish view, but one that is easy to fall into a trap when we are surrounded by things that make us happy instantly, like on demand games, tv, quick dinners, etc.  If I look at marriage as a way to please God, and to really embrace God's love and share that with Rob, then marriage takes on a whole new look.  Or at least it should.  Of course, putting this into practice is challenging, but I'm not one to back down from a challenge.

Ok, that's all for this chapter.  Hope you all have a blessed week!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Date Night

Rob and I are going to try to do more date nights, starting now. This week we had 2 date nights -- a date on Monday to watch the Broncos lose (but it was still fun to watch), and then a date later in the week to go see "Annie The Sequel" at the Candlelight Dinner Theater.

It was a great show, but our date night was even more exciting because we brought Irene with us. Luckily we had a table to ourselves, becasue we didn't realize how nervous Irene would be with the loud music from the orchestra right in front of us, and all the dark objects moving on stage. The worst part was when everybody clapped, Irene would jump up and hit her head on the table. By the end of the show, Rob and I would cushion the table instead of clap and try to calm Irene down. other than that though, Irene did great (even wtih the real dog on stage!) and we were glad we brought her!

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekend in RMNP

It was a beautiful weekend for a drive. A nice long drive through the scenic wonderland that is Rocky Mountain National Park...

My mom and I got to spend a special weekend in Estes Park. We went out last night, brought our lawn chairs, and watched the elk bugle while enjoying some delicious cherry cider! Much to our surprise, while we were sitting there, a blue heron flew right by us! It was neat to see the blue heron in front of all the elk -- I didn't even know there were blue heron in Rocky Mountain Natl Park.

Listening to the elk bugle is always inspiring!

My favorite part of the drive this morning was this beautiful male bull elk. We were driving by when I saw him walking alongside the forest... so we pulled over and I jumped out of the car. He was moving very quickly -- I almost had to run to keep up with him! I got some nice shots as he crossed the road right in front of us, and then within 5 minutes he was completely gone into the forest again... what a little blessing (or a big blessing!)

We also saw a mother moose and her calf -- we were lucky enough to see her first too, so she was nice and close before all the people got there. What a great day for wildlife!

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Monday, July 18, 2011


Irene is a handful. Or at least she can be at times. From the beginning she has been full of her own will and always a little on the mischevious side. Like tonight, we ate dinner outside, and Irene ran around with her Kong in her mouth in big circles in the backyard. But we weren't paying attention to her (so she thought) so she came within a foot of the table and started ripping grass up. As soon as I moved to stand up, she bolted and did about 20 laps in the backyard. Sigh. What am I to do with her?

To try to get some of that energy out the other day, I borrowed my neighbors dog jumping aparatus and Rob and I trained Irene to jump over the bar. She doesn't know a command or anything, but if we run with her, then about 75% of the time she'll at least try to jump over (the other 25% she veers around the pole and knocks it over).

Here are some of my favorite shots -- she was getting better all the time, and I think we all had a good time. The first few times we tried the bar was really low and she knocked it off every time, so at least she is getting better!

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Guide Dog Picnic

So I've been deliquent about blogging agian. Oops. I just can't believe that summer is going by so fast! I think a month later, and I'm finally caught up with some household stuff after being back from Asia!

One of our activities this summer was a great Guide Dog Picnic held at Alex and Stacie's house. Irene had a great time playing wtih the other puppies, but most of all she loved the little plastic pool. She was the only puppy who would just stay in the pool, splashing around and 'digging' into the water. Silly puppy! She is so fun to be around and she just makes me smile!

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Last days in Taiwan

Wow, 2 weeks went by really fast!

We've spent the last few days in Taipei just hanging out, eating, and shopping. We went to a nice mall where we got to look like a super hero. :).

We went to a night market which was great. I think on this trip I have bought 5 pairs of shoes, more than I've bought for the last few years. We also keep trying new food... These are some plums covered in sugary syrup. Yes, my mouth is full of one on this picture.

We also went to the Makong Gondola which was a great scenic ride up over the lush forests of Taiwan.

And last night was awesome
Too! I rode on a scooter to the dollar store. It was fun - and Rob and I took and adventure and went to the grocery store all by ourselves. We finished the night with some delicious papaya milk and banana milk. Yumm! There are some foods I will miss in the USA.

In a little over 24 hours I'll be home. It's been a good trip and neither Rob nor I got sick! Overall it was an awesome experience made possible by some VERY thoughtful friends and hosts! I'll have to post more pictures when I get them off my camera.


Back in Taipei

We made it back from China safely ( as you can tell since blogging is forbidden and blocked in China )

We did a few mire scenic stops in Taipei, including the Sun Yat Sen memorial.

We've had great weather mist of the trip, but this day was raining. But with the rain it made for a beautiful scene of the Taipei 101 which we visited the first day.


Today we visited the site of the 2008 summer Olympics. We got to go into the Water Cube where all the swimming events took place. We also got to go into the Birds Nest where the track and field events took place.

Then We headed to the Summer Garden which is this HUGE garden area with many beautiful buildings. It also has the longest painting gallery in the world with 14000 paintings in this very long hall.

There is also a huge manmade lake built for the emperess a long time ago.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011


We're in China!!

Yesterday we went to the Great Wall which was awesome!!! It was just like I envisioned it would be. But we forgot to take pictures on the iPhone, so they will come later.

We rode the Subway, and that was an experience. It was wall to wall people. We walked like cattle for about 10 minutes.

We also ate Peking duck, which was delicious. We tried all parts of the duck... Some were better than others. :). It was certainly adventurous!

Today we are off to the Forbidden City! It has been great having Jimmy to show us around and having time to catch up with him.